Wow, it’s been over two weeks since I’ve written and so much has happened!! Here are a few juicy bits of news, in no particular order:
- Georgie learned to swim today! We took her to the seaside with our friend Kieran and his dogs and she got right in and paddled around. Very cute.
- We got a new cooker (stove)! I am now back to contentedly baking bread every few days as well as sharing duties with Frank in making our favorites like Shepard’s Pie, roast chicken, lasagna, etc. I feel like we have our kitchen back.
- My friend Lindsay from the ol’ AU days came to visit last week with her husband Matt. We had a nice time showing them Dublin and hosting them in our fair city of Drogheda.
- Week before last I spent a few days in Cork, on the southwestern part of the country. It was rainy and chilly, but the drive down was beautiful, with lots of rolling hills and crumbling castles to gaze at as I daydreamed out the window. Cork City is very colorful and full of things to do as well. I look forward to spending more time there and maybe next time getting to smooch the Blarney Stone!
- Frank got locked in the bathroom a few days ago and the only way I could get him out was to break in the door with an ax! He found it very funny but I’m afraid the door is pretty mangled thanks to my clumsy swings.
- Habitat, my favorite funky home goods store in Ireland, has closed without warning! Whenever we are in Dublin, we pop in there and dream about all the things we might buy one day when we have more money… but alas, it was not to be, eh? I know this is a silly comment, but if you’ve ever seen one of these stores, you may be able to empathize.
- Last of all, I am no longer a nanny.
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In other news, there’s been a lot of hype around here lately about the Lisbon Treaty.
It’s an interesting issue to be sure, although I can’t be sure of what all it entails. From what I understand, though, the Irish people will soon get to vote on whether or not Ireland should be added to this treaty that makes all the European countries become sort of a “United States of Europe.” This would mean one government over all the European Union, one currency, one form of law, one form of taxes, etc. There are plenty of pros and cons from what I hear, and both sides are campaigning hard with ads, leaflets in the mail and signs around the cities like the ones I’ve posted above.
Obviously, I don’t have a vote in this, but based entirely on my American political standings, I’d say the Lisbon Treaty does not sound like a great idea, at least not in the form it currently takes. I tend not to encourage government to get any bigger than it has to be already, but this treaty seems like it could dangerously gloss over the individual rights and needs of its member “states,” not to mention smaller counties, cities and citizens! For instance, if Ireland was to join, they would have a representative who would serve on rotation, not constantly. So this country’s representation would only be able to have a say part of the time, leaving our collective fate in the hands of other countries on rotation, which could be bigger, more powerful nations like England, France, Germany, etc. I just worry that a country like Ireland could too easily get run over with a system like that. Then again, what do I know? I’m just a new transplant… but I still think this treaty smells pretty rank. Perhaps if it had some different tweaks to it?
Politics in Ireland are very interesting to me, though, and it comes as a small surprise since I’ve lost interest over the years in American politics. The point of view here is just much different, and most Irish have pretty strong opinions about America and how it should be run, many of which come to me unsolicited. Haha. 🙂 For instance, even though the older generations here are very traditional and socially conservative, I don’t think I’ve met a single person who would qualify themselves as Republican, Independent, Libertarian, or anything other than Democrat. You might expect that President Kennedy is still revered, but did you know that President Clinton is a hero as well? And many people I talk to would love to see Hillary in the White House as well. I just didn’t expect that! I don’t know why. But it’s interesting, because President Clinton was very involved in the Northern Ireland peace process and had a real personal connection with the people here. They haven’t forgotten that, and it’s interesting for me to hear about it when, as an American kid growing up, I didn’t know he was over here lending a hand.
Then again, if the Irish lived in America, they might see our politicians differently, and our government workings as well. For their part, high political figures here are very approachable and real. The former Teasoich (the top leader, pronounced “Tee-shook”), Bertie Ahern, just resigned after being re-elected 3 times. Toward the end, he was being ripped apart because of his philandering and suspicious financial dealings. But the day he resigned, there was nothing but praise for him on TV and radio, plus road signs telling him thank you and lots of commentary basically saying, “well, he had his problems and needed to leave, but he did a lot for us and was a great prime minister!” That’s the Irish for you – they won’t let you get away with anything, but after they’ve chided you, you’re back to being “one of the lads” and everyone forgets about it over a pint!!! In fact, they broadcasted on the radio that “Mr. Ahern is having his going-away party at Fagan’s pub in Drumcondra for all who want to stop by and wish him well!” That’s something you won’t be seeing in Washington, D.C. come November!!!Well, enough about politics for one night. Hope you all are well and I’ll be back with more stories soon.